“The Fallout”: A Story Close to Home

On Jan. 27, 2022, HBO Max released “The Fallout,” a powerful movie about one of America’s worst problems, school shootings. Although many look at the actual incident, this movie focuses on the aftermath of a fictional shooting and goes in-depth about how if the shot misses you, it can still hurt. 

The movie follows two high schoolers: Vada, an ordinary low-profile girl, and Mia, a popular social media influencer. After Vada goes to the bathroom with Mia to help touch up her makeup, they are forced to hide together when they hear screaming and a gunshot. Both, fortunately, survive the shooting, and the show then follows how the two deal with the emotional impact left behind. This was the first time they had ever talked, but they both now share being survivors of the shooting. 

After everyone is safe, the movie moves close to home as it slows down by exploring Vada, who is coping by locking herself in her room while Mia’s dads are on a business trip, leaving her alone in her enormous house. The two eventually become friends and cope together with the loss of their fellow students. With this, Vada starts to reevaluate herself and the people around her. Interestingly, she doesn’t feel grateful and instead starts to distance herself from her family and friends. Throughout the rest of the movie, Mia and Vada try to process what they went through while getting closer and closer to one another. 

This movie was really good; I liked how they chose to focus on the mental damage more than the physical damage experienced by people that have unfortunately gone through this. You also get to put yourself in the position of the characters by watching how much Vada changes by this event. Before she was always hanging out with her friend, Nick, but by the end, she spends her time either in her room alone or at Mia’s house. Additionally, it has great LBGTQ+ representation with Mia and Vada developing a sexual relationship with one another. It’s never specifically defined, but these themes, as well as the powerful and moving story, prompt me to give “The Fallout” 5 out of 5 stars. If interested, the 92-minute long movie is available on HBO Max.